When we were in Tokyo there was one thing that I absolutely had to drag my boyfriend Lachlan to; the largest fish market in the world, Tsukiji. I had been here with my family years before and was expecting a similar experience – albeit slightly more crowded with tourists. Unfortunately when we arrived promptly at 6am, what did we find? That over the last couple of years they had been closing the “real” market to the public. This meant that they only opened the doors for tourists AFTER the madness… disappointment was an understatement. I mean, I understand that it must make things difficult to have crowds of tourists taking pictures of you whilst you’re trying to do business. Especially when they don’t understand “go away”. Frustrating. But it was so interesting! Nonetheless we were able to visit the small street-like paths between stalls and examine the “leftovers” of what hadn’t been sold from that days catch.
Now, the must-try experience of this market is to slide into one of the many small sushi joints that border the entire venue, and have yourself some sushi. The fish they use is straight off the fishing boats and onto your plate. Doesn’t get much fresher! After the classic series of nods and pointing to order, we were handed the obligatory cup of green tea that is served at almost all food establishments in japan. Shoulder to shoulder in the tiny sushi bar, we watched (salivating) while the chefs joked, laughed and sang their way into our hearts… through our stomachs. A delicious array of different seafood was served, all raw, into maki, nigiri and sashimi. I hadn’t been familiar with the texture of raw squid until then, and while the rest of the platter was exquisite, I find it hard to order that again! Some sake, some parting grins and some filled stomachs and expectations and off we went, ready to do it all again the next morning if we could.